Hans Appel is the Professor of Computer Science and Sensor Technology at the Hanze Institute of Technology (HIT). He brings his forty years of experience in the fields of information technology and marketing, as well as his clear vision for the future of sensor technology.
After his graduation in electronics, Appel joined Sperry UNIVAC, a company dealing with design, construction and sales of mainframe computer systems. After several positions in systems programming, in the late seventies, he took his first steps into the world of marketing.
During the 1980s Appel moved to Apple Computer, a company that wanted to change the world. The company had a vision for the personal use of computer technology by everyone and spent years striving for continuous and groundbreaking innovation. Appel embraced this vision, particularly where marketing was concerned, and later joined Sun Microsystems Netherlands BV as Chief Technology Officer. He was also part of the ‘Sun Vision Council’. Sun manufactures a complete product, from silicon design to the finished article, which gave Appel valuable experience in being part of a continuous process, from start to finish, similar to the projects undertaken by HIT students today.
Since 2007 Appel has been involved in setting up the Hanze Institute of Technology, which houses an Honours Bachelor in Engineering and applied research facility known as CENSI (Center of Excellence for Intelligent Sensor Innovation), specialising in ‘Applied Sensor Research’. Here he is concerned with environment-sensitive robotic systems linked to smart-dust in the form of devices called ‘Sunspots’. In October 2009 Appel left Sun Microsystems and is now totally committed to the Hanze University in Groningen, where in 2005 he was appointed as Professor.
Appel always says: "I have two subjects: technology and marketing. The combination of these two areas represents a great challenge. To continue in these two dynamic fields is a huge motivator to excel".
“The world in which this combination exists is our world today, a world of communities and crowds where ‘WE is smarter than ‘ME’. It is a world of fun and attraction, where ‘thinking out of the box’ is the theme”.
Appel encourages this philosophy at HIT, where he works with multi-disciplinary student groups to realise innovative ideas. Group members learn more about their own specialisation and how to be open to the ideas of others.